Jerry Remy announces that he will return to Red Sox broadcasts this year

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Red Sox color commentator Jerry Remy left the broadcast booth last August after his son was charged with murder, but he announced today that he will return for the 2014 season.

According to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com, Remy spoke for about 30 minutes this afternoon in front of a small group of reporters and admitted that he was leaning toward not returning until recently. However, the support from his family and friends and a clean bill of health were motivators for him to rejoin play-by-play man Don Orsillo.

Here’s part of his statement from this afternoon:

“€œRight around the turn of the year, after a miserable holiday season, that baseball clock clicks in a little bit, and people reminded me — my inner circle of friends and my wife — about my career and where it came from and where it is. I got drafted as a baseball player. I got drafted last and made it to the big leagues. I wanted to quit. My father talked me out of it. I made it to the big leagues. When I started this job — awful. I was terrible. I couldn’€™t wait for the first season to be over because I wanted out. I didn’€™t quit. I continued on for 26 years. When I got cancer, I wanted to quit. I didn’€™t. It threw me into a depression. I came back. I continued on. Some of these things started to resonate a little bit with me. I’€™ve never been a quitter, and I don’€™t intend to be one now. I’€™ve been in professional baseball in some capacity for 40 years. It’€™s what I do. It’€™s what I know. It’€™s where my comfort level is. It’€™s where I feel I belong and where I feel that I’€™m going to continue to do so for as long as possible.”

Remy’s son, Jared, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of his girlfriend, Jennifer Martel. The trial is set for October 7.

In addition to announcing his return today, Remy passed along his deepest sympathies to the Martel family. He and his wife have filed have filed for custody of Jared and Jennifer’€™s daughter along with two other parties, including the Martels.

The umps have dropped their Ian Kinsler protest

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Over the weekend the World Umpires Association — the umpire’s union —  launched a protest in response to what it feels is Major League Baseball’s failure to adequately address the “escalating attacks” on the men in blue. They were specifically upset that Ian Kinsler didn’t get suspended for his remarks in which he said that Angel Hernandez should get out of the umpiring business because he’s terrible. Apparently to umpires truth is no defense. In any event, they wore white wristbands Saturday night as a sign of solidarity or whatever.

Now that’s over, it seems. At least for the time being. The Association released this statement yesterday afternoon:

“Today, WUA members agreed to the Commissioner’s proposal to meet with the Union’s Governing Board to discuss the concerns on which our white wristband protest is based. We appreciate the Commissioner’s willingness to engage seriously on verbal attacks and other important issues that must be addressed. To demonstrate our good faith, MLB Umpires will remove the protest white wristbands pending the requested meeting.”

As many noted over the weekend — most notably Emma Span of Sports Illustrated — this protest was, at best, tone deaf. While officials are, obviously, due proper respect, a player jawing at an umpire is neither unprecedented nor very serious compared to, well, almost anything that goes on in the game or in society. At a time when people are literally taking to the streets to protest white supremacy, Neo-Nazis and the KKK, asking folks to spare thoughts for some people who sometimes have to take guff over ball and strike calls is not exactly a cause that is going to draw a ton of sympathy. And that’s before you address the fact that the umpires are not innocent when it comes to stoking the animosity between themselves and the players.

I wouldn’t expect to hear too much more out of this other than, perhaps, a relatively non-committal statement from Major League Baseball and a relatively detail-free declaration of victory by the umpires after their meeting.

 

Minor league teams prepare for a “total eclipse of the park”

Salem Volcanoes
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The Salem-Keizer Volcanoes are a class-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. Today, the path of totality of the big solar eclipse we’re not supposed to look at will pass right through the ballpark in which they play. What’s better: the Volcanoes are playing a game against the Hillsboro Hops as it happens.

This was by design: the team’s owner requested this home game when the schedule was made up two years ago specifically to market the heck out of the eclipse. They’re starting the game at 9:30 this morning, Pacific time, in order to maximize the fun. Spectators will receive commemorative eclipse safety glasses to wear. The game will be delayed when the eclipse hits and a NASA scientist named Noah Petro, who is from the area, will talk to the crowd about what is going on.

Salem-Keizer isn’t the only minor league game affected, by the way. There are six games in all which will feature a “total eclipse of the park.” Turn around, bright eyes.

There are no home MLB games going on in the path of totality, but MLB has put together a helpful guide in order to maximize your baseball and eclipse pleasure. If you line up some good beer with that you’l have your very own national pastime syzygy.